I See His Blood upon the Rose by Joseph Plunkett was voted just outside Ireland’s top twenty favourite poems by readers of the Irish Times in 1999.
Plunkett was a key figure in Irish history and was one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.
He was sentenced to death after the British authorities regained control of the country. Plunkett married his sweetheart Grace Gifford in Kilmainham Gaol just hours before he was executed.
I See His Blood upon the Rose
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.